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10-24-2007, 06:26 AM   #1
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"Pentax Delays Digicam Launch After Fire" - news article

Hi -- I saw this in this morning's NY Times (via Reuters), and don't know if others have already discussed it. (Here's the weblink: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-matsushita-pentax-battery.html).

And here's the full text of the article:

***

October 24, 2007

Pentax Delays Digicam Launch After Fire

By REUTERS

Filed at 8:39 a.m. ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - Pentax Corp said it would delay the launch of its new digital camera after a fire at a lithium-ion battery plant run by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd's battery unit caused supply disruption.

Production at Matsushita Battery Industrial's flagship factory in western Japan has been halted since a September 30 fire and it is unclear when it will be able to resume operations -- a potential boost to rival battery makers including Sanyo Electric Co Ltd and Sony Corp.

Pentax planned to use a certain type of lithium-ion battery from Matsushita for its new digital camera, but the fire and ensuing production halt have made procurement difficult, forcing it to postpone the launch to February 2008 from November.

Matsushita's battery business was already hit hard in August when Nokia warned consumers that 46 million batteries made by Matsushita used in its mobile phones could overheat, and offered to replace them for free.

Matsushita said on Wednesday it plans to boost output at other battery plants -- one in Japan and the other in China -- to make up for lost output, but it is also considering procuring lithium-ion batteries from outside to meet demand.

Matsushita does not disclose its battery revenues, but its devices operations, a segment which includes batteries as well as microchips and other electronic components, posted 1.38 trillion yen ($12 billion) in sales in the year ended March 31, accounting for 15 percent of group revenues.

*****

10-24-2007, 06:38 AM   #2
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Yeah but please not this concerns only the Optio A40 as written (in japanese) on Pentax Japan website.
10-24-2007, 06:48 AM   #3
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Thank you

QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Yeah but please not this concerns only the Optio A40 as written (in japanese) on Pentax Japan website.
That's an important omission from the article. Thank you.

I thought the fire explained why Pentax delayed the announcement of the new DSLR (as discussed in another thread) from this October to next January.
10-24-2007, 07:08 AM   #4
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The original press release is here
PENTAX News 2007 : コンパクトデジタルカメラ「ペンタックス オプティオ A40」 発売時期変更についてのお知らせ

It is in japanese but I think it is pretty obvious that it concerns only Optio A40.
Also this is a good move from Pentax because Matsushita (not sure id that's the good name) has exploding batteries... It is better to wait IMO

10-24-2007, 08:09 PM   #5
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fires at electronics OEM's, usually PCB fabricators, are the most common excuse for delayed shipments.

In my 20+ year product development career, in North America, Singapore and Malaysia, I've heard the excuse about once every 1 - 2 years, a few banner years where it was offered up as cause for delay 3 - 5 times in one year, sometimes at the the same vendor within months.
10-25-2007, 08:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Donald Quote
fires at electronics OEM's, usually PCB fabricators, are the most common excuse for delayed shipments.

In my 20+ year product development career, in North America, Singapore and Malaysia, I've heard the excuse about once every 1 - 2 years, a few banner years where it was offered up as cause for delay 3 - 5 times in one year, sometimes at the the same vendor within months.
Sounds like they need a new policy on smoking in the workplace
10-25-2007, 09:03 AM   #7
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It could it be a ruse. Maybe it has nothing to do with the A40 but with another camera(645, K1D)!

/Conspiracy theory.
10-27-2007, 03:19 AM   #8
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Well....Nokia did tell them the darned things overheat.

The Japanese text doesn't state specifically either way whether this affects only that one particular model of camera or not. But I ran a search on 発売時期変更 (change of release date) and turned up no other page hits that the one for that particular model.

10-27-2007, 05:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Well....Nokia did tell them the darned things overheat.

The Japanese text doesn't state specifically either way whether this affects only that one particular model of camera or not. But I ran a search on 発売時期変更 (change of release date) and turned up no other page hits that the one for that particular model.
The japanese text says that the Optio A40 is delayed to february 2008(previous introduction date: november 2007) because of those battery problems. Why is n't that clear enough for you?
10-30-2007, 03:42 AM   #10
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They weren't working on some Apple iBook batteries, were they?
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